About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

M is for 'Multipose'

While I am off-line at home I'm getting 3 toy/model soldier related things done, one is sorting out the archive, both figures/vehicles and paper/ephemera, second is getting a lot of the archive onto PC/disc, including the list of small scale articles someone asked for a while ago (and I've found the list I was looking for a few months ago in relation to that request, see; News, Views etc...Passim), and thirdly is this little project.

Those hoping for an update on the painting comparison with the elves will have to give up; The three pairs were so different it wasn't going to work, the Mantic figures were the ones that threw it, they had so much armour on, it didn't matter what colour scheme I selected, they were never going to fit in with the others, so the whole point of the exercise was rather in-valid! But this chap kept singing to me from the blister, so I took a knife to it and freed his sorry arse!

A surprisingly clean desk!

My employer asked me for a 95th Rifle's ages ago, and when I finally picked this up for him in the big 'Autumn purchase', along with some Airfix ready-made line-infantry (which I offered to convert to 95th's for a smaller fee than building the 'multi-pose'), he turned them both down and announced he really wanted an eight inch paper flat! So while a couple of mates go off to search for expensive antiques of Light Infantry 1800-1900, I was left with this.

I was going to do him from the box, just to 'keep my hand in', but the legs worked with one kneeling and one standing, so we were off...the next thing was to find a better painting guide than the backing card! Philip Haythornwaite's 'Uniforms of the Peninsular War 1807-1814' published by Blandford Press in their Colour Series seems to be the best in my Library which is a bit short of Napoleonic's.

The basic pose.

I am going to model the 60th Royal Americans from Plate 13 of the book, it calls for a small amount of work on the Shako cords, but not much else, as they were all (95th Rifles, 60th and most others) in rags by the time my chap got to taking a bead on Johnny Frenchman (or should that be Jean'ee Frog!), so the rendition of George Simmonds, the officer in shite-order in Plate 12 will be a major influence.

The pack will be dropped, one of the beauties of the illustrations in this book is the realism, not many packs on show, if they are shown, they're misshapen by weather and loot! In fact the Artist; Michael Chappell has got it just right, lots of mud, blood, looted equipment, rags and patches, very few war-gamers parade-dress here! The peak will be cut and I'm hoping to fashion a gourd water-bottle from a Crescent Swoppet knight's plume!


I dropped the arms without changing the angles or doing any of that cut-n-shut stuff, the right armpit opened up as it does in real life (try it, if you adopt the firing pose and then drop the arm while cupping the armpit with your other hand you can feel it just stretch!), so it needed a dollop of Humbrol filler. I've tried Testors and Revell over the years but always come back to Humbrol, the others were too thin and sloppy!

Having said the others are too thin, once the lumpy fill has dried, you need a thinner layer to 'fine-fill' which I make by using liquid poly to water the grey stuff. Also shown is the ammo. box I'm going to have him standing on, it's a soft ethylene plastic one from Merit (I think?) so will need pinning to the base, and he'll need pinning to it, 'cause nothing really works with the softies, glue-wise.

I might have shown the Hussar before, he was made by me about 5 years ago (before my eyesight started to go long!), and while I was pleased with the horse, the figure was flat painted and not only remained unplaced at a BMSS show (once I'd seen the competition I wished I'd left mine in the car!), but also went unsold on eBay and at several shows! It's a very personal thing this painting/modelling malarkey, and while you can share it via a blog like this, everyone has his or her own way of doing things...John, a friend of mine, took it (out of kindness?) off my hands and I'll try a bit harder with my 60th Yankee, who - in fact - by 1812 was probably a German National!.

A shot of the 2nd fill being removed, most of it gets taken away again; you're just trying to get the joins 'invisible'. With the other leg combination; again no cut-n-shut involved, the waist-line needed levelling once the join had dried/fused, but otherwise all it needs is a bit of filler (and another torso?) and it's ready to use. It would need pinning with wire from that heel - through the landscaping to the base though.

Last minute addition to this article, the changes muted above, peak has been cut flat and thinned slightly, apparently a common field modification in this campaign - if not others and while seemingly more common among the officers, soldiers did do so as well. The shako-cords are a bit of a guess-work, based on the photographs, but with all the shakos in the three works I'm referring to having different cord arrangements, I'm not too bothered it has to be said.

I pin the cord in the middle with super-glue, pull it round and anchor again the same way, then soften and shape the run between the points with liquid poly. For the tassels, I knot and stiffen a section of cotton thread and only when it's fully dry, cut it to size and super-glue it in to place. I then discovered that liquid-poly and super-glue mix without curing each other, so buttons were a blob of the thinned filler with cynocrylate, set with the Plastix activator pen.

PS - Anyone who's got the kit, have a look at the artwork, four guys 'running' with both feet stuck firmly to the grass! The guy at the back is starting to fall forward onto his face, the middle bloke is looking worried at his inability to free the back leg, while maintaining a text-book pose and the guy on the left is stoically pulling hard to free the rearward leg. The man on the right has gone into total panic mode and is furiously shaking his hips in an attempt to free at least one of his feet and has started waving his Baker-rifle about like a big girl!

In the background a Nuclear-test has combined with a Turner'esque sunset to provide a distraction for anyone not involved in the immediate battle or the problem of sticky-grass. Indeed the kneeling firer on the extreme right has not yet realised some devious Corsican or Neapolitan engineer has covered the grass in super-glue! Oh, it has to be one or the other...no Frenchman could come up with an idea that clever, one has to remember that while the rest of Europe experimented with hams, jointed-meats and sausages; they were still eating frogs and snails!

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